Divorce is one of the hardest events you can go through. Even if it’s amicable, your entire future will be affected by the results of a divorce proceeding. But it’s not something you have to go through alone.
At Greg Steele Law, our Anderson divorce lawyer understands the gravity of the situation and can help you get through this. Our skilled family law attorney can help work with you to make informed decisions and determine what is worth fighting for.
Qualifying to File for Divorce in Anderson
To initiate a divorce in Anderson, at least one party to the marriage in question must have lived in South Carolina for one year or more prior to filing their initial complaint, or both parties must have maintained residence here for a minimum of three months. The party who files the complaint is the “plaintiff,” and the party who then has that complaint served upon them is the “defendant” and has 30 days to file a formal answer.
In the Complaint, the plaintiff must specify the grounds upon which they are requesting for the dissolution of their marriage. Most couples in Anderson pursue what is known as a “no-fault” divorce, the only prerequisite condition of which is the two parties spending at least one year living separately from each other prior to filing. However, it is also possible to file for divorce on one of the following fault-based grounds:
- Physical cruelty
- Habitual substance abuse
- Desertion for a minimum of one year
If the plaintiff wants a judge’s ruling on how matters like child custody and spousal support will proceed between the initial filing date and the final resolution of the case, they may submit a Motion for Temporary Relief alongside their Complaint. A local attorney could help draft and submit a comprehensive divorce petition with the appropriate court, as well as help complete other necessary forms like Financial Declaration Forms and Certificate(s) of Exemption for certain marital issues.
Steps in the Divorce Process
After the initial proceedings, the next stage in dissolving a marriage is generally a conference between each party’s legal counsel to see if the two divorcing spouses can establish a quick and mutually agreeable settlement. In Anderson, divorce proceedings that involve any transition of assets, child custody, or disagreement will involve complex legal documentation.
If the two parties cannot agree on any pertinent issue(s), the court will issue a Temporary Order and, if the disagreement persists, compel the parties to engage in mediation with a third-party mediator. If none of these options produce a workable divorce agreement, the case will proceed to a trial.
Once all issues are resolved – either in mediation or at trial – the judge will issue a Final Order that formally and permanently ends the marriage. Most elements of this order are non-negotiable and remain legally binding in perpetuity, but a divorce lawyer in Anderson could help seek a post-divorce modification if there is sufficient reason to do so later on.
Speak with an Anderson Divorce Attorney Today
Even if your divorce case does not go to court, it is advisable to have someone there to protect your rights and work with you through the process. Having a lawyer by your side can not only ease the burden, but make sure you avoid serious mistakes along the way.
Hiring a lawyer early on in the marriage dissolution process is one of the best ways to protect yourself and ensure that your marriage ends smoothly. It’s not an easy situation, but having legal support can make a substantial difference if the situation goes wrong. Call our Anderson divorce lawyer for compassionate counsel with the knowledge needed to work through this difficult time.